If you're a person who feels the rain, you're lucky. Most people just get wet.....

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Beef, Broccoli & Barley (...or venison if you have it)



Comfort food for sure... Earthy flavors and textures that will delight!


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef or venison - bite size cubes
  • 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 large yellow onion - cut up
  • 6 baby portobello mushrooms - sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets cut into small florets
  • salt to taste
  • canola oil

Preparation:

Start off by thoroughly rinsing the barley and then cooking it according to package instructions - this usually takes about 45 minutes on a low boil. While the barley is cooking we'll get everything else ready.

Next cut up the meat into bite size pieces and toss with the Montreal Steak Seasoning




 Cut up the onion, mushrooms and broccoli florets and heat some canola oil in a non-stick dutch oven. Have everything ready and start when the barley is just about done as the actual cook is a pretty quick process.



Sautee the onions first. As their edges just start to brown, add the mushrooms.


Once the mushrooms are tender (~1 min) add the broccoli and sautee til cooked but still crunchy (~1 min).
Scoop out mixture and set aside, covered.


Add a splash of oil to the dutch oven and sear the meat with a high flame and a continuous toss.
DO NOT OVERCOOK!
Even though the pieces are bite size you want to shoot for a medium rare. 

Finally add the onion, mushroom & broccoli mix and toss over low heat. 
Once blended add the cooked barley and carefully mix it all together. ENJOY!

Serves 3 - 4









Add a pic of the finished dish here

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sausage & Kale - 2017 Updated Version


I found that the winter doldrums needed a bit more color, 
so multi-colored cherry tomatoes and FRESH kale were added for bright fun!
Rest of the recipe remains same. ENJOY!!!






Ingredients:
  • 6-7 links sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lge yellow onion
  • 12 cherry tomatoes in assorted colors
  • 2-3 generous handfuls fresh shredded kale (not too small)
  • 1 15.5 oz can cannellini or small white beans
  • Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste


Preparation:

Boil sausage until fully cooked and set aside to cool. 





Cut up onion and sautee in large dutch oven until lightly browned.







Add kale and simmer down while tossing until somewhat wilted. 







Add in diced tomato and drained beans… toss until warmed through.










Cut sausage into diagonal slices and sear on both sides in frying pan.
Add to the mix and fold in until evenly hot.
Season with a bit of salt and black pepper to taste.











Finish with a dash of salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste - Enjoy!

Serves 4



Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tools of the Trade - "The Rock" Frying Pans by Starfrit



January 28 update:
The two smaller pans arrived this week and have been tested. Seriously the best
fryers I've ever owned. I'm considering buying a second set to use up at Sylvan Run,
because I don't think I really want to use teflon any more :-)

Leftover veggies and half an onion fried up with a couple eggs using canola cooking spray.....  
JUST out of the pan... 
Any questions?



Just before last deer season I was in search of a pot that had a pour spout to use for filling our thermoses with boiling chicken broth without scalding my hand again. I found the perfect one at a Super Walmart and while in their pots and pans department I saw an intriguing finish on an 11" frying pan. Ever the one to drool over new kitchen toys, I took a closer look and found that this pan made claims that seemed too good to be true. As I whipped out my phone to check out the manufacturer's website my mind already had this very masculine fryer back home on my stove.... 
Here's what they claimed:

From Starfrit's Website:


Starfrit The Rock
  • Nothing sticks
  • Never warps
  • Lasts longer
Extra thick forged aluminum base
  • Optimal heat distribution and even cooking
  • Guaranteed never to warp
Rock.Tec surface enhancement

Our unique manufacturing process uses small metal pellet impact technology to modify the surface to form an ultra durable rock-like finish. The result is an outstanding release performance, 3 times better than traditional non-stick cookware.

  • 3 times more durable non-stick
  • Resists scratch and abrasion
  • 10 years unparalleled warranty
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with gas, electric, ceramic and halogen stovetops

My Thoughts on The Rock:

I've used this pan extensively now for a variety of dishes and I can honestly say that this is the best frying pan I have ever owned. It heats very evenly and Starfrit's claims regarding non-stick is spot-on. Sunny side up eggs slide so easily you actually need to watch your wrist action so they don't go flying!

Just a light coating of cooking spray, oil or butter is all you need as Starfrit does insist that they pans are never heated empty. That's just common sense in my kitchen.

Cleaning..... This one is my favorite..... literally nothing sticks! A few times after making eggs and leaving the pan to cool I've come back later only to wonder if I had already cleaned it. Normal soap and water cleans them very easily, but a real bonus is that they're dishwasher safe. Gotta love that!

Ergonomics..... I really like the bakelite handle on these pans. The angle and curve are just right, and the thickness is good for a guy with large hands. Ever use a pot or pan with a skinny handle? Pain in the ass to use when the pot is heavy. The Rock is a pleasure in this area.

Pricing..... Not the cheapest of pans, but not crazy expensive either.
Amazon has all three sizes, 8", 9.5" and 11" priced from $22 -33 respectively.

Basically.... and I DO know how corny this sounds......

THE ROCK...... ROCKS!!!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Simple Lunch Scallops

Ok, folks..... I got the bug to get back in the kitchen since my docs both yelled at me just before New Years Eve. Believe it or not..... yours truly was a damn slacker for most of last fall, and lab work doesn't lie. So guess what? 
New Years Resolution Time :-)
If you're diabetic, you know as well as I do that alcohol and pretty much all simple carbs are our worst enemy. To that end, the ideal solution is to simply eliminate both. I know... I know... Not really all that simple, Mr Reilly......
Well, as you now know, I'm not perfect, but I do try. 
For starters, let's get back on track with this really simple, fresh and amazing lunch.



Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lbs raw scallops
  • 4 mid sized tomatoes - cut into small chunks
  • light oil, like a soy/olive blend
  • 1 medium yellow onion - cut up to your preference
  • 4-5 garlic cloves - minced
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preparation:
In a large non-stick fry-pan sautee garlic in a bit of oil over medium heat until just brown.
Add onions and simmer until they JUST start getting soft. Add tomatoes, simmer still at medium and toss frequently until they are cooked down but still have some chunks. Add in scallops toss gently until cooked.
Season with salt and pepper, mix and serve.

Serves 3 people



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Amazing Techniques for Chopping Onions



Everybody loves onions, right?
Damn skippy we do!!!
Red, yellow, green... a staple in every good kitchen... always on hand to be...
Quartered, diced, chopped or minced!





My guess is that you all have your own tried and true
techniques and knife skills, but let me tell you dear friends...
YOU HAVE BEEN DOING IT WRONG!

TO LEARN PROPER TECHNIQUE...

You can thank me later by inviting me over for dinner.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Venison & Shrimp Stir-Fry

Yeah, I know..... venison AGAIN???
Well, yes.... when you have 200 lbs of prime quality free meat it tends to dominate the menu
at times. Feel free to substitute with beef... that should come out pretty good as well.

Let's start with the finished product, because there won't be any prep pics,
as this one is way too easy to need pictorial direction ;-)


Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs ground venison or lean beef
  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, cleaned and peeled (no tails)
  • light oil, like a soy/olive blend
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup ginger teriyaki marinade (more or less)
  • four packets each soy and hot mustard from your last Chinese takeout order
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preparation:
In a large non-stick dutch oven fry the chop meat in a bit of oil. When cooked, add shredded cabbage, marinade, soy and mustard. Simmer and toss frequently until cabbage is cooked but still crunchy. Finally add shrimp and cook another few minutes until shrimp are just cooked perfectly. Finish with salt & pepper to taste.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Healthy Breakfast

We already know that breakfast is important, so let's fuel our systems properly, shall we? Contrary to popular belief, it does NOT take forever to put together a fantastic breakfast at home that will easily fuel you through the morning and beyond. The key here is FRESH. If you're a gardener, it's wonderful to go out just after dawn and pick items you'll be consuming shortly. To me there's nothing better than going plant to table in minutes. Even if you don't or can't garden, you can stock your fridge with real food for real meals.
Make the effort to get into the routine of making breakfast at home instead of the motto of "I'll just grab something on the way"..... Your system as well as your mind will thank you all day long :-)


Color in the morning is nearly as important as flavor and nutrition.
Choose ingredients that will brighten your spirits while fueling your body for the day ahead!



Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp lightly salted butter
  • 3 large eggs - lightly beaten
  • 2-3 scallions
  • 3-4 leaves spinach
  • 1/8 yellow onion
  • 1/4 red, yellow or green bell pepper
  • 2-3 baby portobello mushrooms
  • 10 grape tomatoes cut in half
Preparation:
Start by cutting up all the ingredients to your liking. I suggest staying away from mincing so that color splashes are more pronounced. Melt the butter and add onions, peppers and mushrooms. Sautee until cooked but still firm. Add spinach and scallions and toss for a few seconds. Add the eggs and spread the veggies so they're distributed evenly in the eggs. Lower heat and cover pan. Cook until eggs are firm.
Slide omelette onto plate, top with halved tomatoes and serve.

Have a nice day!!!